Thursday, November 15, 2012
I've been rather backward in keeping the blog up to date and I notice that 6 months has flown past since my last posting. It's been quite hectic for me - various concerts, rehearsals, organising fund raising for the purchase of a new Kawai grand piano for the Swellendam High School, various Bahá'í activities, bookkeeping jobs, teaching etc. etc. In the last few months it has been necessary to get down to some heavy practising for a solo recital at the new concert venue, Wahnfried, in McGregor on 2nd December. I have resuscitated my old programme called "Sylvia Schulman Plays Piano Music for You (from W.A. Mozart to Billy Mayerl)" which I have not played for several years. It consists of 15 pieces with a fair amount of talking in between, sometimes linking different pieces by a common denominator, but generally giving some interesting information about them and/or the composers. Then I decided to present the programme as one of the Country Classics series in Swellendam, this time at my house, a week beforehand. For singing and flute the acoustics here are not good because the room has wall-to-wall carpeting; so we have used other venues for the Country Classics concerts which have been with Marcelle Volckaert, soprano, Brad Liebl, baritone and Chris Nicholls, flute. However, the acoustic is satisfactory for piano so it is very convenient for me to do the solo recital on my own piano! On 9th December Brad Liebl and I will be giving a recital in Barrydale - that lovely drive from Swellendam through the beautiful Tradouws Pass - which includes a Christmas Fantasia on a Theme of Debussy, arranged by Brad Liebl. Going forward into next year, Brad and I will be performing at Wahnfried on 10th February, the programme for which will include songs by Wagner and Verdi as 2013 is the 200th Anniversary of their birth. Later in the year, as near winter as possible, we will do a recital in Barrydale to include some of Die Winterreise of Schubert at the request of our hosts, Tim Teale and Clive Strawbridge. Marcelle Volckaert and I will also be performing in Barrydale with Turina and Berlioz song cycles. No doubt these recitals will also be presented in Swellendam.